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About Los Angeles Accident Center

Los Angeles Accident Center was created to provide useful information for anyone who has been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence in Los Angeles and throughout the state of California. Author and attorney Sherwin Arzani and his team have over 17 years of personal injury experience. If you have been injured in accident, you will find useful information to assist you during this difficult time.

4 Reasons Why a Personal Injury Lawyer Will Not Take Your Case

When an individual suffers an injury due to negligence, such as in a car accident, finding solid legal representation is important. An experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer can provide the expertise needed to secure the compensation a client seeks during this difficult time. 

However, a preferred lawyer may not be able to accept the case because of certain legal circumstances. Fortunately, there are steps a person can take to hire the right lawyer, beginning with understanding common reasons for case rejections.

Constraints on Legal Representation

It’s helpful to keep in mind that a lawyer is not obligated to accept every case presented to them. According to the American Bar Association, “a lawyer should not accept representation in a matter unless it can be performed competently, promptly, without improper conflict of interest, and to completion.” 

A lawyer owes a professional duty to each of the following:

  • The legal profession
  • The courts
  • Their clients (current and prospective)
  • Their firm

Common reasons attorneys decline cases include:

1. The Statute of Limitations Has Expired

A statute of limitations refers to the deadline by which a lawsuit must be filed. The intent of the statute is to guarantee lawsuits are dealt with promptly. 

When a plaintiff is contemplating filing a lawsuit against another party for an injury or claim, it should be filed as soon as reasonably possible. If a lawsuit is filed after the deadline, a judge must dismiss the case.

In California, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is, in most cases, two years from the date the injury occurred. Once the statute of limitations has run out, a person cannot file a legal action for compensatory damages, punitive damages, or other relief.

2. Proof of Liability

In order to file a personal injury case, an attorney must have a reasonable legal recourse as to why the other party is liable for their client’s injuries. In most cases, the plaintiff must prove the other party’s negligence. If the client cannot produce the necessary evidence, the lawyer may decline the case.

3. Insufficient Compensation 

A personal injury lawyer is typically compensated through a contingency fee — a percentage of the settlement or damages awarded to their client. If the client doesn’t receive a payment award, the attorney will not be compensated.

There are several factors an attorney must consider when trying to determine how much money their client should receive. The financial settlement may have to account for medical costs, trauma, and punitive damages. 

If a case involves an insurance company, the lawyer will likely not need to worry about getting paid. However, if the case does not involve an insurer, a lawyer will have to examine whether the other party has the assets to pay out the damages awarded. If the other party cannot pay, the lawyer might decline the case.  

4. A Conflict of Interest

Attorneys are prohibited from taking cases that may create a conflict of interest. If a lawyer’s duties might be compromised in any way, they have a legal and ethical obligation to decline the case. 

Examples of legal or ethical reasons to decline a case include:

  • Contractual or legal obligations
  • Nepotism
  • Professional duties
  • Business interests

Another example would be if an individual was involved in a car accident and reached out to hire a personal injury lawyer. If the prospective lawyer was representing the other driver in a separate medical malpractice case, the lawyer must decline the case. 

How to Find Alternate Representation

Every lawyer has their own situations to consider when deciding whether to accept a case, including existing caseloads, resources, and other considerations. 

With this in mind, it’s a good idea to seek a second or third opinion if the first attorney you talk to will not take your case. A more skillful lawyer may be able to go around any perceived obstacles and accept the case.


How Are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated?

How Are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated?

After an accident resulting from someone else’s negligence, you might be able to seek injury compensation. It might be appropriate to seek compensation from the at-fault person or business for your economic and non-economic losses.

The common term for non-economic loss is “pain and suffering.” These damages arise from how your personal injury affects the quality of your life.

Here is an overview of pain and suffering damages and how they are calculated in California.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are also known as general damages or pain and suffering damages. To understand non-economic damages, you must first understand economic damages.

Economic damages include all of the ways your injuries affect your finances. Non-economic damages regard how your injuries affect your quality and enjoyment of life. Some common forms of non-economic damage include:

Physical Pain

Physical pain diminishes your enjoyment of life. It can also limit your mobility and activities. Pain can also harm your mental and emotional health.

Mental Suffering

Mental suffering, also called mental anguish, can arise from negative emotions you might suffer after an accident injures you, including:

  • Fear about your finances and the extent of your injuries
  • Anger over your accident or your limitations
  • Grief about your losses from the accident
  • Sadness over your inability to do the things you enjoy

Mental suffering does not necessarily equate to mental illness or emotional disorders. But if you do show symptoms of depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), you should discuss your symptoms with your doctor.


You might experience many inconveniences from your injuries. If you cannot drive, you might need to arrange for transportation. You might need help cooking, cleaning, and shopping. If you suffer severe injuries, you may even need a caretaker to help you with your mobility and daily needs.

Loss of Consortium

Loss of consortium happens when you suffer from an injury that deprives you of the ability to have sexual relations. The injury could be physical or mental.

Proving Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are called general damages because the law presumes these damages happen in every case. As a result, you do not need to:

  • Prove any extraordinary losses or injuries
  • Allege the value of your non-economic losses

Instead, the jurors will use their discretion and common sense to arrive at a fair damage award based on the evidence. Evidence that shows the impact of your injuries could include:

  • Medical records
  • Pain medication prescriptions
  • Mental health therapy and counseling records
  • Your testimony
  • Testimony from family, friends, and co-workers

The jury will use this evidence to assess the severity and duration of your injuries. The severity and duration will help the jury determine how the injuries impacted your quality and enjoyment of life.

Calculating Pain and Suffering Damages

California does not prescribe how the jury should calculate non-economic damages. But you can hire an expert witness to give the jurors options. Two models used to calculate pain and suffering include:

Multiplier Model

In the multiplier model, the jury picks a factor between 1.5 and 5.0 based on the severity and duration of your injuries. More severe injuries get a higher factor.

The jury calculates your total damage award by multiplying the factor by your economic damages. Suppose that you had $20,000 in economic damages, and the jury picked a factor of 2.0. Your total damage award would be $40,000.

Per Diem Model

In the per diem model, the jury picks a daily value based on the severity of your injuries. The jury multiplies the daily value by the number of days your injuries lasted. Thus, a daily value of $200 for injuries suffered for 180 days will give you non-economic damages of $36,000.

Getting a Fair Damage Award

You need to present enough evidence to help the jurors or claims adjuster understand your pain and suffering. You could get a fair pain and suffering damages award if you are successful in that effort.

How Dangerous is Fatigued Driving?

Most of us here in Los Angeles have experienced the struggle to keep our eyes open during a late-night drive after an exhausting day at work. There are times when you stop to take a break or a nap. And sometimes, you might change drivers. Other times, you have no choice but to forge ahead, cranking up the music or opening the window.

While they impact drivers differently, keep in mind that fatigued driving can be just as dangerous or risky as driving under the influence of alcohol.

And many drivers in Los Angeles are aware of the fact that activities like driving under the influence and texting behind the wheel are not only dangerous to themselves, but also to those on the road with them. However, many people fail to realize that driving while tired or fatigued can be just as dangerous. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, annually, there are more than 100,000 reported traffic accidents caused by driver fatigue, accounting for almost 1,500 deaths, more than 70,000 injuries, and a loss of about $12 billion.  

Combating fatigued or tired driving starts with identifying as well as understanding the issues created by getting behind the wheel of your car in an impaired state.

What is Fatigued Driving?

We can define fatigued driving as the operation of a car or other vehicle by a driver who is drowsy, tired, or sleepy. This state creates a high risk of operational impairment. Fatigued or drowsy driving is hard to recognize. This is because there aren’t any tests for sloppiness, such as a breathalyzer test for intoxication. Also, note that sleepiness often spans a spectrum from moderate tiredness to the point of severe fatigue. And, in many cases, determining whether a driver is fatigued is usually based on self-assessment.

Dangers of Fatigued Driving

There is no doubt that fatigued driving can cause a driver to pay less attention to the road. It also slows their reaction time, adversely affecting the ability to make sound decisions. Fatigued driving also impairs short-term memory and information processing, decreasing performance, motivation, and vigilance in the process. 

Did you know that car accidents caused by fatigued or drowsy driving are the most common early in the morning and late at night?  Most car crashes are the result of failure to brake. And it is also common for many fatigued drivers in Los Angeles to veer off the road.

Fatigued driving is dangerous for you and others on the road. This is because sleep deprivation and fatigue can have similar effects on the body as drinking alcohol. Also, it is worth noting that being awake for eighteen hours makes you drive like you have a blood alcohol level of 0.05.  And if you have not slept for a full 24 hours and then drive after a night where you just could not fall asleep—it is like you have a blood alcohol level of 0.10.

The Warning Signs of Fatigued Driving

Drivers who are too fatigued or sleep-deprived to drive a vehicle can exhibit any of the following warning signs:

  • Missing exits or turns
  • Problems remembering the last couple of miles driven
  • Yawning and blinking on a frequent basis
  • Irritability and rubbing eyes
  • Hitting rumble strips present on the side of the road
  • Frequently drifting between lanes 

If you experience any of these signs, you should take a break or change drivers.

What Can You Do?

Before getting behind the wheel, you can take the following actions that will help prevent fatigued driving:

  • Refrain from consuming alcohol or drugs
  • Don’t drive from midnight to 6:00 am. This is because it is your body’s biological rhythm during which your body will naturally prefer to sleep
  • Drink more caffeine to stay vigilant
  • Do not try to rush, as this can lead to mistakes even when you have had a full night’s rest
  • When driving at night, have a second driver with you who can take over 
  • If possible, you should take a short nap before going on a long drive

Note that it is important that you be aware of your body and what you need in order to control your car or another vehicle safely. If you or someone you love was gravely injured or killed in a car crash, contact a personal injury lawyer today for a confidential and free case consultation.